Struggle to stick to your goals and resolutions? Here are four steps to help you

As a new year gets underway, you may find yourself making a list of resolutions – as you do every year. But how many of them do you usually keep?

According to research, 66% of people abandoned their new year goals after just a month. So how do you buck the trend this year, and actually DO what you’re planning?

Being able to fulfil your goals – whether they’re career or business-oriented, or concerning your health and self-care, relationships, hobbies or passion projects – doesn’t need to remain a remote possibility.

To help you stick to your goals, even if you have an abysmal track record for maintaining your New Year resolutions, here are four steps we recommend you take.

1) Set big goals, but be prepared to start small

We’ve always been told to aim high (or reach for the sky) as children, and there’s no reason to stop now. Big goals boldly set are inspiring. They spark excitement and enthusiasm inside us and encourage us to be more than we think we are.

However, this doesn’t mean self-delusion. Aiming high can be daunting, which is why it’s so important to study your big goals and set tiny goals for each big goal.

For example, you’ve always been keen on embroidery; it’s something you’ve loved doing since you were a child. As an adult, after taking up studies on entrepreneurship and marketing, you find yourself always going back to embroidery. This time, however, you see it as a potential source of income.

If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you know how important it is for a mother to engage in something they find fulfilling other than homemaking. So if having your own embroidery business is your big goal, what tiny steps should you take to get to it?

Ask yourself first: is it feasible? You clearly see a market where people seek out bespoke products, or things handmade and homemade. You plan to start online and offer hand embroidered linen napkins, monogrammed hand towels, handkerchiefs, etc.

In order to showcase your skills and product quality, you start making samples to fill your product gallery. This may take months or even a year or so to accomplish.

The most important thing is that you know what you want, and you’re taking deliberate steps that take you closer to your goal. And your entrepreneurship and marketing studies will help you plan a realistic and successful course for your business.

2) Know why your goal is important

There must be a reason behind every objective. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about personal or corporate goals, spiritual, health, financial, and whatever else you plan for. Knowing why you have such a goal strengthens your resolve and gives you a sense of purpose.

There will be times when you’ll feel utterly challenged and perhaps even defeated. You can stay motivated by going back to the reason why your goal is important to you. It can be something personal or something greater than you.

3) Visualize your idea of success

You need to have a clear picture of what success is in terms of your goal. If you’re a frazzled mom who has always struggled to pencil in time for self-care, and your goal is to make your total health a priority, you need to have set criteria to indicate that you’ve achieved your health goal.

Holistic health, for you, might mean a combination or all of the following things:

  • Being at a healthy weight range.
  • Getting at least seven hours of sleep daily and having a regular sleep schedule.
  • Eating healthfully by following a well-balanced diet.
  • Regularly exercising for at least half an hour four days a week.
  • Dedicating time for daily book reading.
  • Practicing self-reflection and meditation.
  • Volunteering for a cause.
  • Meeting with close friends once or twice a month.
  • Having an emergency fund and savings account or investing in stocks.
  • Going for a hike, joining a fun run, or participating in a beach cleanup.

Whatever your goal, whether it’s to increase revenue by 50% or take your first holiday abroad, you need to have a vision of what it looks like so you know what you’re working towards, and when you reach it.

You can also use the NLP timeline exercise to visualise your future, and set achievable goals for it.

4) Work on your goal, commit, and measure performance

This step directly relates to the first step. If you work on fulfilling the small goals, you’ll find success achievable. These small wins can give you the confidence you need to stay the course and be motivated to see your goal through. (If you ever feel like giving up, watch this short video.)

If you’re a working mom with a career leading a team, it’s important to not only measure performance but also to share progress and celebrate big and small victories with your team.

Be part of the successful 8%

It has often been said that 92% of people fail to reach their objectives, particularly their new year resolutions. There’s no need for you to be a part of that.

Now you know you have what it takes to become part of the successful 8%; just follow the steps above to help you achieve your goals.

Photo by Hannah Busing